An annotated collection of cop memorabilia offering a look inside a culture usually kept unseen. 68 pp. 2017.
are many stories about the origin of challenge coins, all probably
apocryphal. What is certain, though, is their roots in American military
culture, their rise in popularity after World War II, and their
eventual adoption by law enforcement over the proceeding decades. When
fellow service members or officers meet for the first time, they might
“challenge” each other to show their unit’s or division’s coin as a way
to verify that the other is not, in colloquial terms, a poser. Some
coins commemorate historical events or “battles,” while others are
merely inside jokes shared among friends and coded in obscure cop lingo
and arcane insignia.